6 Mar 2012

Concerns over NZ govt plans to cut family migration to NZ

9:21 am on 6 March 2012

A Pacific community leader says Government plans to cut back on family migration to New Zealand will hit Pacific working families.

A briefing paper to the Immigration Minister says Cabinet has agreed to scrap the category for sponsoring siblings or adult children to come and live here.

The parents category will fast-track applications from the wealthy and make it harder for those on low incomes.

The Auckland Tongan Advisory Council's president, Melino Maka, says that will hurt working Pacific families who can't afford to pay for childcare.

"It's often that we bring in a family member to help the working parents to give a better life for the children, and I think that the government needs to acknowledge that before they start hammering us with this type of policy."

Melino Maka says claims the changes will reduce the drain on welfare payments are an insult to the huge contribution by Pacific immigrants to New Zealand's economy.